I am a writer and teacher, out and about in the world but with Nottingham never far from my heart.
Published August 22nd 2012
The Clink Prison Museum
The area of London's Bankside between London Bridge and Southwark Bridge is so steeped in history you can almost feel it radiating from the brickwork. From the replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind vessel to the gothic majesty of Southwark Cathedral, there is barely a square inch of land that can't lay claim to some sort of historical significance.
But it's down on a narrow and dimly lit street beneath the railway arches that you will find the most enthralling, absorbing and downright gruesome of all the historical attractions in the area.
Located on Clink Street, The Clink Prison Museum transports visitors back through 850 years of history and offers an insight into the darker aspects of the city's character. Only a few metres from the Thames, Clink Street once chimed with the sounds of the few prisoners who were rich enough to afford a ball and chain. With this ball and chain they were allowed to wander beyond the boundaries of the jail, rattling their shackles up and down the cobbles and reportedly giving the street its fabulously onomatopoeic name.
Costing only £7 for adults and £5.50 for students, children and pensioners, a trip to the Clink is likely to be considerably cheaper than a similar excursion to one of London's many other tourist attractions. Once inside, the museum provides an informative – if gruesome and often desperately sad – look at the miserable lives of the many inmates who passed through the cells between 1144 and 1780.
Fans of the paranormal will also find the Clink Prison Museum a fascinating place to visit. Unsurprisingly, the museum has become known as something of a supernatural hotspot, with paranormal investigators reporting poltergeist activity throughout the building. A sorrowful looking female spirit has also been spotted by several visitors to the Clink, so watch out for her as you explore!
The Clink Prison Museum 1 Clink Street London SE1 9DG 020 7403 0900
July to September: 10:00 -21:00 daily
October to June: 10:00 – 18:00 Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 19:30 Saturday and Sunday